These Are the 10 Most Popular Fast Food Chains in America


You can probably find more Americans interested in ranking fast food chains than voting in a presidential election. This grim reality, attributable to the easy access of Chalupas and the ugly slog of electoral politics, probably has no better representation than this ranking of fast food franchises in America, compiled by

If the level of passion captured by this survey, which notched 210,000 votes from over 12,000 participants, transpired in the streets, we might just be on the cusp of a fast food civil war. In any case, the social media savvy and cut-throat Twitter antics of some chains seem to be winning over the American public. Among the top four, you'll find restaurants that have mastered the dark arts of social media marketing and public relations. If you're not eating their burgers and fried chicken, you're definitely reading their tweets. Who knows, they might even hide brand propaganda in their french fry grease. 

Here are the top ten chains, according to the survey: 

1. Wendy's
2. Subway
3. KFC
4. Taco Bell
5. Chick-fil-A
6. Dairy Queen
7. Five Guys
8. Arby's 
9. Burger King
10. In-N-Out Burger

The people behind Wendy's sinister Twitter account have probably helped propel the chain to its perch on top of America's fast food pile. Despite being a global hamburger oligopoly, McDonald's ranked a shocking 29th among respondents. Chipotle came in 10th, even with its free burrito cavalcades occurring seemingly every week, and Carl's Jr., which can't quite scrap with the heavyweights online, notched the 18th spot. 

But rest assured, if you're the kind of person who cares about these things, the results of the survey in no way reflect an accurate assessment of the most beloved fast food joints nationwide. Earlier this month, a Foursquare study showing the most popular chain in every sate showcased a very different national sentiment towards fast food, and one that was decidedly in love with Chick-fil-A

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.